Late UC Davis Rally Drops Stanford, 4-2, In NCAA Regional Opener
May 30, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - The top-seeded Stanford baseball team now has its back to the wall after suffering a 4-2 defeat at the hands of the UC Davis Aggies in Friday's NCAA Regional opener at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. UC Davis (35-22) scored all four of its runs in its half of the seventh inning, erasing a 2-0 Stanford lead and sending the Cardinal (33-22-2) into the loser's bracket.
The Cardinal must now win four straight games in order to keep its season alive and capture the regional title, beginning with Saturday's 1 p.m. elimination contest against Arkansas.
Aggie starter Eddie Gamboa tossed a complete-game four-hitter to pick up his seventh win of the year, allowing only one of those hits after the fourth inning. He also did not allow a Stanford runner to reach second base over the final five frames.
Stanford starter Erik Davis turned in a respectable outing of his own, but was tagged with his third loss of the year due to one inning that got away. Davis pitched eight innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out five batters on the night.
Stanford got out to an early 1-0 lead after an inning of play Friday. Phelps started off the game with a double down the right-field line, and Joey August then reached on a UC Davis fielding error to put runners on the corners. Jason Castro's groundout to the right side would score Phelps with the game's first run, but two more ground ball outs would end the Stanford inning with just one across.
Davis and Gamboa would blow through the opposing batters over the next two innings, each retiring the side in order in the second and third frames. Davis retired the first 10 UC Davis batters he faced in the contest, until Ty Kelly singled to right. But Kelly was then erased on a 6-4-3 double play from the next batter, Jake Jefferies.
Stanford would have its first two batters of the fourth inning retired, but then staged a small two-out rally to take a 2-0 advantage. Randy Molina singled to right with two away to keep the inning alive and set things up for Ratliff. The Cardinal's home run leader would crush a Gamboa offering to deep right which would carom off the top of the wall for a double which scored Molina all the way from first.
On the mound, Davis would continue to cruise along, allowing only one hit in each of the fifth and sixth innings as the Cardinal lead held. But in the seventh, a leadoff single from Kelly and a walk to Jefferies put two on for Ryan Scoma, who singled through the left side to plate Kelly with the Aggies' first run.
A groundout to the right side by Kyle Mihaylo accounted for the first out of the frame, but advanced the runners a bag to second and third. Kevin James was intentionally walked, loading the bases for Evan Hudson, who lined a shot past the diving Zach Jones at third for a two-run double that gave the Aggies the 3-2 lead. Matt Dempsey followed with a suicide squeeze bunt that scored James for what ended up as the game's final run.
Hudson provided the big hit as part of a 2-for-4, two-RBI night, while Kelly went 3-for-4 and scored a run to lead UC Davis.
Stanford could not respond against Gamboa the rest of the way, going down in order in both the seventh and eighth innings, then seeing a potential opportunity in the ninth go up in smoke. Castro walked to lead things off, but Brent Milleville's line drive was snagged by Kelly at third, who whipped it to first just in time to double off Castro at first to kill the rally. Gamboa then got Molina swinging to end the game.
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